Financial Advisors:

Attend Conferences to Spark Creative Thinking

In my Research Magazine article, “How to Attend a Conference,” I promised some links to articles and books and stuff you may find helpful as you pursue a creative approach to business, hobbies, or your life.

Conferences, as I wrote, are incubators of creativity. However, there are many more ingredients.

It is not unfair to say that this industry is characterized by regulation-enforced sameness.

Nevertheless, there are bright lights of creativity. You can differentiate yourself with creative ideas no one else in your market has had.

Start with a study of the articles and white papers on this page.

Where Good Ideas Come From. This link will take you to a page on There you will learn a bit about what happens before the creative idea flashes to mind. Take a few minutes and listen to the interview with Steve Johnson, author of “Where Ideas Come From.” You can check out his book on Amazon here.

Tony Hsieh and Collisions: One of the “Aha!” moments I got from attending the Barron’s® 1000 Conference was hearing Tony talk about how collisions spark serendipity. This link takes you to a Google® search listing numerous articles on these fortuitous collisions. Read a few of these.

Call Jill Marks

She will show you some of the very creative ideas deployed in the Gorilla System.

Some of My Best Creative Ideas

  • “Transitioning to Fee-Based Advisor”—If you are not there yet, this white paper will help you make the transition without the hated income reduction plan.
  • “Surefire Team Development”—In all modesty, I conceived the team solution in this industry. It’s all about having the right people on the right seats of the bus.
  • Time Management. You will want to look at the bottom of this page for the heading, “Marketing Financial Services: More Time Required." There you will find help on managing your most valuable resource. Again, in all modesty, “The Model Day” was a bright idea.
  • Certainly do not forget, the Gorilla CRM® System for Financial Advisors. No one has yet conceived a CRM as merely the engine for a system. Spend some time here. You will be glad you did.

How I Generate New Ideas

It’s not an idle boast that I have come up with some unique, if not highly creative ideas in this industry.

Early on, there was the “cherries and pits” idea which threw out the “old way” of prospecting. Then "the team concept" which was based on the notion that an FA was worth $1,000 an hour—an idea that was so shocking I did not believe it.

Just recently, I modified an old form of prospecting—“Cold Walking”—and came up with TIPing—Targeted In-person Prospecting. So I have no shortage of creative ideas.

Where did these ideas come from?

First, there’s the general milieu in which I work. I talk to a lot of people—collisions if you will. I read a lot. I read books, articles, and news. Not much TV. Not enough time. This environment alone creates a swirling heaven of ideas, thoughts, and who knows what.

  1. I set a goal to solve a problem or make something better.
  2. I attack it. Sometimes it just solves, more from analytical than creative thinking. However, the most interesting cases are where it doesn’t.
  3. I work hard at it. I talk. I write. I read. In the case of TIPing, I talked to people about the idea. I wrote several scripts. I got someone to test it.
  4. If it still is not solved, I push it aside. Sometimes it never surfaces. Other times, however, that marvelous supercomputer between my ears takes over.
  5. Voila! Sometimes in the car, the shower, walking my dog, or at a conference, Serendipity speaks.